Jin Choi graduated with distinction from the University of California at Berkeley in 1992. Mr. Choi obtained his Juris Doctorate from the UCLA School of Law in 1995, and has been with the firm since 1998. He became a shareholder in 2006. Prior to joining LBAC, Mr. Choi clerked with the California Attorney General’s Office where he focused primarily on appellate practice.
Mr. Choi has obtained successful results in a diverse array of cases, involving a myriad of federal and state law claims alleged against many different public entity defendants including the County of Los Angeles, Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, County of Los Angeles District Attorney’s Office and Public Defender’s Office, California Department of Corrections, and the cities of Manhattan Beach, Culver City, Rialto, and Compton.
Mr. Choi has had particular success in defending public entities against claims brought by their current or former public employees. These cases have involved claims filed under California’s Fair Employment and Housing Act and the Americans with Disabilities Act, as well as claims for wrongful termination, hostile work environment, and First Amendment-based retaliation. Examples include securing the early dismissal of all claims against the County of Los Angeles and former District Attorney Gil Garcetti in a case in which three former LAPD officers obtained a $15 million verdict against the City of Los Angeles; obtaining the appellate reversal of a $1.4 million verdict against the City of Compton in an ADA case; and prevailing in a landmark 2006 United States Supreme Court case — Garcetti v. Ceballos — which clarified the scope of First Amendment protection in the public employment setting. The Garcetti case involved a First Amendment claim by a County prosecutor who alleged that he had been retaliated against for certain on-the-job speech. In its opinion, the United States Supreme Court held for the first time that such speech was not constitutionally protected, thereby resulting in the entry of judgment in favor of the County of Los Angeles and former District Attorney Gil Garcetti.
Mr. Choi has also successfully represented public entities in numerous cases involving a great variety of civil rights and general liability claims, including excessive force, negligence, medical malpractice, due process, false arrest, and 42 U.S.C. § 1983 municipal liability.
Mr. Choi also has extensive appellate experience. Having successfully argued before both the Ninth Circuit and California Court of Appeal on numerous occasions, he is well-versed in both federal and state appellate procedures. Furthermore, Mr. Choi’s appellate cases have yielded important published opinions by the United States Supreme Court, California Supreme Court, Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, and the California Court of Appeal. Mr. Choi also authored an article regarding the Ceballos case for the California Labor & Employment Law Review, entitled “Garcetti v. Ceballos: Clarifying the Constitutional Dimensions of Public Employee Speech.”
In addition, Mr. Choi has obtained favorable appellate results in cases which have dealt with claims arising from the public employment setting, as well as civil rights and tort-based claims alleged against public employees and their employers. These results are reflected in the high percentage of cases that have been dismissed at the pre-trial stage, and in the number of published appellate opinions that have yielded not only positive results for our clients, but also shaped the law in favor of public entities and their employees.
Mr. Choi is fluent in Korean and is a sports enthusiast.
Bar Admissions and Memberships
California State Bar, 1995
United States Supreme Court
United States District Courts of California
United States Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit
Los Angeles County Bar Association